Edinburgh’s record-breaking growth in Chinese visitors looks set to continue as city tourism leaders reveal the city’s first-ever Chinese promotional photography campaign and a new-look Mandarin map and city guide targeting the world’s largest inbound visitor market.
The brand new images, shot by local Chinese photographer Yao Hui, show Chinese visitors soaking up top attractions and businesses in the capital – like the Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh Castle and Mercat Tours. Developed by Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, twelve local businesses joined forces to support the first-of-its-kind photoshoot targeted directly at Chinese consumers.
Ten thousand copies of a brand-new Edinburgh Visitor Map and City Guide in Mandarin have also been produced and distributed to tourism offices and the top hotels and attractions for Chinese visitors – to offer a better welcome to the city and recommend key points of interest for Chinese travellers, such as history, architecture, film locations and shopping.
Rob Lang, Chair of ETAG’s China-Ready Initiative, said: “The growth of the Chinese visitor market to Edinburgh has been so much faster than we anticipated which presents a great opportunity for the city’s tourism sector. We know Chinese visitors love our historic, walkable city and our top attractions, our architecture and our unique links to major films like Harry Potter. Working together as a group of businesses, we’re confident that this new campaign and visitor map – launched exactly one year after we first started helping businesses get China Ready – will help Edinburgh become a “must see, must visit” destination for Chinese visitors.”
Developed by the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, the initiatives bring together and showcase a range of attractions and businesses that are working hard to promote themselves in China and develop products and services to attract this influential and lucrative market. Official tourism figures for the city showed that the number of international passengers to Scotland from China increased 45% in 2015, and Edinburgh Castle alone welcomed over 150,000 Chinese visitors in 2015.
Julie Trevisan-Hunter, Head of Marketing for the Scotch Whisky Experience said: “We have been focusing on the Chinese market for many years having introduced Mandarin Chinese to our audio guides as far back as 2005. In addition to language facilities our developments include staff training, trade relationship building, PR and accepting China Union Pay. The results speak for themselves with China now taking position as our third largest international market. In order to be able to take our activity to the next level we really needed the support and strength of a destination collaboration. The first results from the photo shoot project have provided us with a range of high quality images that will be of huge benefit across our channels”.
This latest marketing push to the Chinese market is the next phase of the city’s China-Ready initiative – launched by ETAG in 2015 and supported by Scottish Enterprise – which has seen over 200 hotels, visitor attractions, universities, festivals and retailers across the city engage with cultural awareness workshops, guides and meetings aimed at increasing Chinese visitor numbers and developing the city’s position as a China friendly destination.